'St. Valentine's Day' vs. 'The Wolfman' -- trailer trash
What's the dealieo? We are finally back to movies that are being allowed a critical preview, but the news is still pretty grim.
The candidates this week are: Garry Marshall's "Valentine's Day," Joe Johnston's remake of "The Wolfman," and Chris Columbus' stab at "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."
OK, Garry Marshall - you're a smart guy, but you've had your ups and downs. Upside: "The Flamingo Kid," "Frankie and Johnny," "The Princess Diaries." Downside: "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley," "Mork & Mindy," "Beaches," "Exit to Eden" . . . and this film.
It would take the genius of Max Ophuls to juggle a cast of this size and the concomitant number of storylines. â€˜Nuff said.
Personal plea: God, give Hector Elizondo an Oscar-worthy role someday. He is a genius.
On to "Wolfman." I love the furry freak - always have, always will. Yet, evidently not since "Van Helsing" has a classic movie monster been so horribly mistreated.
You would think Benicio del Toro would be perfect as the protagonist. Like Lon Chaney, Jr., the original Larry Talbot, he has an aura of dismay and doom about him that fits in perfectly with the story of the unwitting victim of a curse that transforms him into a malevolent, bloodthirsty creature of the night - like John Mayer.
Yet he looks like he ate a bad enchilada combo at Chubby's No. 7. Sigh. Anthony Hopkins is there, mouthing cryptic lines such as "The beast must have its day." Flavor of the month Emily Blunt is the love interest/screaming victim. And there's Hugo Weaving of "Matrix" fame as the police detective who's growing rapidly less skeptical about werewolves.
CGI out the wazoo, blood spurting, flesh being mangled . . . and, it looks like, not much of a soul.
Personal plea: Horror can be graphic, or you can terrify through suggestion and suspense. Guess which I thinks works best?
Looks like your best bet is "Percy Jackson." It's derived from a bestselling series of books that owe a lot to Harry Potter - but are still considered pretty good. A New York schoolkid finds out he's a son of a sea god and has to mix it up with the Greek pantheon of deities.
At the helm is Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter films, and has much the same task at hand here. You've got Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman - can't be all bad.
Personal plea: More Joe Pantoliano, please!
Trailer Critic is a dscriber.com service that reviews trailers for major films because we know a lot of people merely check out the trailer online before deciding to shell out the big bucks for a ticket and popcorn. Brad Weismann, an award-winning journalist and expert in film, is your guide.